Remember, I am on hiatus until at least March 2013. Having taken this opportunity to remind you of this, as a PSA, let me also leave you something to read.
This is truly one of the great, hilarious interviews in the Garciaverse, chock full of great stuff.
Jerry Garcia Band Interview (by Andy Gefen)
75 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
March 11, 1978 (Saturday)
45 minute FM via Gefen-Goodbear shnid 76444 JGMF shn2flac
So, this interview has been circulating forever, but I don't recall seeing a transcription anywhere. So, I did it. It ain't 100% transcribed, but it has the stuff that interests me.
Lots of good direct quotes from Jerry about Cats, Garcia Band per se (and vs. GD, and vs. Weir's side projects), etc. Some snorting and such. Good times.
t01. Reuben And Cherise (album version) [5:08]
t02. Andy Gefen Introduction [1:38]
t03. Buzz Buchanan Introduction [1:01]
t04. Ten Grand And A Year in Jail [0:21]
t05. Cats Under The Stars Release Date [0:55]
t06. Is Keith Around? [0:16]
t07. Maria Muldaur [0:44]
t08. Jerry's Day Job and Trouble With Flooding [0:46]
t09. GD Plans [1:01]
t10. GD Movie, TV [1:10]
t11. GD Tour [0:13]
t12. Let's Talk About The Record [0:23]
t13. We Built The Studio [1:50]
t14. I'm Happiest With This Record [0:44]
t15. Jerry Garcia BAND [0:27]
t16. Rhapsody In Red (album version) (fragment) [0:#50]
t17. Mistakes [0:42]
t18. Tour So Far [0:31]
t19. Album Personnel [1:53]
t20. French Horn [0:35]
t21. Scaly And Weird [1:36]
t22. Being Great Is Your Own Thing [1:30]
t23. Stop Looking At That Thing, If It Gives You The Creeps [0:33]
t24. Rain (album version) (fragment) % [0:14]
t25. SNORT [0:45]
t26. Not Too Hard [1:42]
t27. Playing Together Purely Randomly [1:07]
t28. Garcia V. Weir [1:29]
t29. Keith Olsen [1:32]
t30. Station ID [0:54]
t31. Doing Interviews [1:24]
t32. Another GD Question Goes Nowhere [0:32]
t33. It's That Important To Me [1:27]
t34. What Career? [0:12]
t35. JGB Concrescence [3:04]
t36. You Want It To Move You [0:40]
t37. The Taoism And The Path, Featuring Buzzy Buchanan
t38. Amenhotep's Wine [1:35]
t39. The Invisible Landscape [1:33]
t40. Goodbyes [0:28]
t41. The News [0:08]
! Interview: people present:
! personnel: Andy Gefen
! personnel: Donna Jean Godchaux
! personnel: Jerry Garcia
! personnel: John Kahn
! personnel: Buzz Buchanan
! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.
! TJS: none.
! db: part of shnid 76444 (Gefen > Goodbear).
! R: PREFM-SBD > ? > Gefen Master ? > GoodBear CD (late 1990s) > shn, part of shnid 76444.
! R: shn2flac via TLH, tracking via CDWave, tagging in foobar2000 by JGMF, 8/6/2012.
! t02 Jerry interrupts him Jerry Garcia Band. JG "Under the stars. Not undah." They are wasted. For those of you who don't enjoy the show tonight, I'd like to apologize on behalf of myself and the members of the band. John Kahn. Let's apologize for Buzzy, too. And Buzzy.
! t03 Ron Tutt's been playing with us. Ron isn't playing with us anymore. The new kid in the band is Buzz Buchanan credit to his race, as far as drummers go. From Los Angeles. What happened to Ron Tutt? Kahn: He went back to Los Angeles unfortunately. Buzz who did you play with before? Studio stuff in LA. The Smothers Brothers, played back east with them at the Great Gorge Playboy Club.
! t04 Someone mutters "shit", and the DJ sounds worried about the ramifications of broadcasting a swear word. "I need ten grand and a year in jail." Garcia, pulling up from an audible snort: "I do. I could use a year in jail. I really think it would straighten me right out. And the $10 grand [fine] would be helpful, too."
! t05 on CUTS release date: That's a good question. If Arista really cooks, they might get it out as soon as the next couple of weeks ... next week or so. Our last really important deadline which we were almost totally convinced we would make was September 10th ... of last year. Unfortunately, we ... slipped up a little right there." JK: "Well, we made the deadline, in a way." DJ: "In a way?" JK: "Yeah. We were mostly dead by then." DJ: "Gratefully ... dead?" JK: "Well, I wasn't all that happy about it, myself."
! t06 Keith Godchaux: This is really harsh. He asks if Keith is around, and they all start snickering. JG: "Not all of us can move, see [laughter] ... sometimes it just doesn't work out right. [hilarity]
! t07 re Maria Muldaur: DJG: "There's somebody else who isn't here. Maria Muldaur is not here. Call John Mr. Maria. JG: "She is now an official member [inaudible]." JK : "The original mistake was "mr." JG: "She is a permanent member of this band insofar as this band is a permanent organization." DJ: "And it's workin' out great." JG: "yeah. Real great." Maria has her own date.
! t08 JG: "We all have to work around each other, know what I mean? Otherwise, y'know, I work at a gas station during the day." John will come back and play with Maria when she comes back to town.
! t09 Q about GD plans. JG: "Yeah, we're gonna be workin' ourselves silly this year. But I don't have a rap to tell you. I don't have any information that's gonna do you any good on the Grateful Dead right now. Right now this is what we're doin, and this is the most important thing that's happening as far as we're concerned." Bob Weir album recording. JF: "We're looking at recording in the May-June-July area, if things go right we'll have an album out in August." Kahn: Just like our album out in September". Jerry: "Well, yeah, right, we're all hippies. Crazed beatniks. Strange people. Foreigners." JK: "I have a junior beatnik card."
! t10 clips of the GD Movie on TV on "Rock Concert" TV people have been pulling on our legs for many years to go on television. William F. Buckley wanted me to go on Firing Line.
! t11 GD tour maybe early spring starting in Florida. JG doesn't really know about it. Garcia cuts this question off.
! t12 Most like to talk about the record. Record has been a great trip for us. "We started working on it last July. Because we're all doing all this other stuff."
! t13 DJG: "And we built the studio that we recorded it in." JG: "Yeah, we built the studio to do it. What was happening was, we were rehearsing, and all of a sudden ... and it's Tutt that plays on these tracks, not Buzz, unfortunately. [Buzz, wake up!] So we were playing in there and we were making cassettes for practice purposes as we were working on the material. And, uh, Tutt ... was he attracted to ... he liked the drum sound in the room. We hadn't really thought about it before. So we whipped the place into a recording studio, took about a month to do it, two months, maybe. This whole record is, fundamentally, on a technical level it's totally homemade. I mean everything that was done, it was done ... right ... it was all done in the same room." JK: "I remember when we were all splicing wires, we actually, literally, ourselves, put it together [inaudible]." JG: "We were cutting wires, and cutting lines and making cables and doing everything ... we actually built the place--" DJ: "From scratch." JG: "Yeah, from scratch."
! t13 @0102 DJ: "Do you intend to use this studio for future Garcia and Dead endeavors?" JG: "Whether the Dead decide to use it or not is a matter of ... that decisionmaking process ... you know, we don't decide like *that* ... for me, it's a thing that's been a long, slow progression of accumulation of equipment, and the desire to have a really good facility for recording. The neat thing about it is that the room we're workin' in, it just sounds beautiful. It sounds better than any studio I've ever worked in, in terms of the room sound. So, the vocal quality, the instrumental quality, the drum sound, all the sounds that are recorded in the room ...; there's horns and strings and things like that there as well ... and everything just has a very articulate and nice sound."
! t14 JG: "I'm happiest with this record, of all the ones we've done. It's neat because it's all original material, all the material is our own stuff." DJ: "Can I who produced this album?" JG: "We all" [crosstalk] DJ question about Keith Olsen and production. JK: "I don't know that we have such a specific plan on that level. Things are changeable, always." JG: "Yeah, right, that's the thing, is that no decision is final, and that no operating ... no way of operating is ever completely always gonna be the thing." Jerry really doesn't want to go onto GD terrain, while Gefen really does.
t15 RIR introduction. DJ: "Give us a chance to relax a little bit, with microphones off." JG, laconically: "That'd be swell." DJ introduces song as by "Jerry Garcia", and Garcia insists "Jerry Garcia BAND".
! R: t16 spliced
! t17 silliness
! t18 tour so far, only two gigs. DJ: "How long have you been rehearsing for the tour?" JK "None". JG: "About twenty minutes." JK, laughing: "That's right, it was twenty minutes." JG: "We try to approach this stuff professionally." JK: "Yeah, right. I do remember that twenty minutes, now that I think about it."
! t19 CUTS album personnel: Kahn mentions harmonica player Dave Burgin on "Palm Sunday". Steve Schuster horn player on "Rain". Two string players one was named Brian (Brian Godchaux and Candy Godchaux, Keith's brother and sister-in-law). Then there was that guy whatshisname from the ... [Kahn: "Musicians' union?" [general mirth]. French horn player his name was whatever it says. Stewart somebody from the Oakland Symphony. JG: "Wonderful player. French horn is a really difficult instrument, this guy ..."
t20 John Kahn writing instrumentation wrote the out about five minutes, on the floor, with manuscript paper, scribble scribble scribble for this french horn player ... and he just played it immediately. He's a remarkable player, remarkable." JG, sound a little grumpy: "Uhh, yeah, we have. We've been movin' each other along and I think an awful lot of what's happening in music is just dull as dishwater, man." DJ: "You're not into any disco or New Wave or anything?" JG: "Of those things, of those choices, the New Wave... the whole punk rock trip, I like it best. I like it best, I think. I like it because it has some energy, it has some spirit." JK: "There's the thing of, new music, people are tyring to play [crosstalk] there's thing, in San Francisco, 'cause that's where I was then, when everybody was just learning to play, there was a thing that was missing --" JG: "The thing of people tryin' real hard. JK: "Tryin' to figure out how to make it work." JG: "Yeah, yeah. It's got the spirit, y'know, that's the thing. The nature of the spirit, if you had to describe the spirit, you could describe the spirit as being a little bit edgy, y'know, maybe sort of a Violent spirit, y'know, sort of scaly and weird, maybe, but it's a spirit, and almost anything else lacks spirit of any sort."
! t21 DJ: "I just want to ask a question about your musical influences. Anybody been moving you along lately?"
! t22 JG: "Who is there around to say what being really, really good on an instrument is. There are guys who don't play ... who can't play many notes, that can move you tremendously with what they do play. Then there are guys who can play gazillions of notes, and nobody can even dig it." JK, sounding very strange: "There isn't any best in the world anymore." JG: "No, it's not like that anymore." JK: "There can't be a best guitar player in the world anymore. There's twenty now. JG: "Say, eighty." [cross-talk] DJG: "Being the greatest is no longer the incentive." JG: "Being great is your own trip." More from JK.
! t23 general weirdness, then DJG asks DJ "Do you want us to stop talking?" He says "No, no", and Garica replies "Well then stop looking at that thing, then, if it gives you the creeps." Too funny! "Play something so *you* can relax." General mirth. "Rain" intro by JG
! t25 DJ mistakenly identifie the song as "Gomorrah", not sure. JG, dismissive: "Uh, it's called 'Rain'. It's the one that Donna wrote?" DJ: "I am getting confused in between--" [--SNIFF-- chuckles] "--John Kahn just noticed his own name on Jerry Garcia's Reflections album." JG: "He's into his name because it rhymes." DJ: "With what?" JG: "With itself. John Kahn. John Kahn." He sounds a littel patronizing.
! t26 question about how the decision was made to have Donna and Keith tour with this band and with the Dead. Gets no response, says "OK ... they don't like that question." Then they affirm him a little bit. Donna: "No, no, I just don't understand it." JK "These things happen more than a decision [inaudible]." JG: "See, here's the thing, I mean, I think it best ... in terms of clarity, I think it's easiest not to confuse the Grateful Dead with *this* band . This band really has its own identity, its own evolution." DJ: "I'm only making the comment because there are three members of the Dead in it, as opposed to one [garbled]." JG: "That is an interesting ..." JK: "Well," [cross-talk DJ, something about Bob Weir] "it's coincidental, that's all." JG: "It's coincidental, almost, yeah." JK "We didn't have a piano player, and Keith was the best guy we could find, and Donna's a fabulous singer." JG: "Yeah, actually, this started quite awhile ago. I mean, Keith and Donna have been with us for two years." DJG: "And they needed a piano player, and another singer would be nice. Keith and I live together. It'd be cheap." [laughter] JG: "Not too hard ... and we're all freaks." [crosstalk] DJG: "--just fell into it really naturally." DJ: "May I ask how you originally got involved with the Dead?" JK: "They probably needed a piano player, too." DJG: "They did. That was exactly what was happening."
! t27 JG: "It's a matter of timing, really." JK: "Those things happen. It's not heavy decisions or anything. That kind of stuff just happens ... somebody shows up, and it's right, and everybody knows it's right." DJ question about Bobby and Kingfish. JG: "I guess, so, that's the way it worked out with him. But for me it's always been the thing of, that, decisionmaking is always, always ... I don't dig it, I'm ... It's more a matter of luck. Like, John and I really were thrown together in a gig. We started playing together purely randomly. And we played together for a looong time before we started even talking very much. But we got along musically." JK: "I had known you for about three years--" [crosstalk] "--the first time I ever really talked to you is when you gave me a ride home from the airport once from somewhere." JG: "Yeah. It's just one of those things. Something happens in your life."
! t28 DJ spoke with Weir the day before (3/10/78), asking about parallels. JG: "He was in a situation where he had a created band. He'd done a record, and the record had a certain musical personality ... and he was really in the position, since Weir, Bobby doesn't spend a lot of time playin' around with other musicians, except when he was working with Kingfish and stuff like that, y'know. So, he went down there [LA] and for him it was a good experience because he was exposed to a lot of good players, met a lot of people, and put himself into that situation of, 'OK, now I have to have a band.'." JK: "He has to cover his album." JG and Donna affirm. JG: "This is a little different." DJ: "What do you think of that album?" JG: "Weir's album?" DJ: "Yeah." JG: "Slick as can be. Weir has always been a very interesting writer to me. He writes the kinds of things that I would never, ever think of writing, musically I mean. And his development as a composer is gettin' to be more interesting and more resolved as the years go by. He's always been an interesting composer. His ideas are ... they're unique. Whether other people are gonna like it or not, I really haven't the slightest idea, but it really sounds smooth, and it sounds nice and finished. Keith Olsen is a very careful and meticulous producer."
! t29 Keith Olsen: "He showed up and didn't freak out." "he's a good cat. He really doesn't belong in LA. He's a good guy to work with. He's the pick of the litter." , Dead with outside producer everybody has their own opinion so firmly, it's like imprinted on yourselves. Very hard for us to all. .. it's helpful to have an objective ear. Dealing with ourselves we can hang ourselves up for months and months and months and months and months. "It's not that we don't dig it, but that's what it is."
! t31 random chatter. Running out of things to say. Now, general mayhem. All talking about things. "Being on the radio beats lying around in the gutter, in the snow. ... It also beats things like taking a shower."
! t32 Jerry directing. JG: "Hey, I know, why don't you play nother cut. ... In that case, do what you want." DJ prods him again about asking about the Dead. Jerry sounding a little grouchy "I am just not into it that much right now." GD we're workin'.
! t33 DJ: Are there plans for another Jerry Band album, this is a permanent entity? JG: "Yeah. This is. It's been going on for some time. It's an idea we have been pursuing for some time. John and I have been involved in developing this thing over this long period of time in a kind of crazy way. It's serious. As a personal, as an individual apart from my relationship with the Grateful Dead, which is an important thing to me, this record, this music and this band is the same thing to me. It's that important to me. I care that much about it. I'm that serious about it. I think that this record is the best record that any of our various scenes --if you want to be thinking in those terms, y'know, sub-groups and all the rest of that stuff, if you want to be thinking in those terms, this record is, I think, the best of any of them so far. I mean, in terms of us feeling really good about it. The material is really good. The lyrics are beautiful, the musical ideas, the performances, the sound ... everything is the way we would want for people to hear it."
t34 DJ: "How do you feel everything is at this point in your career." JG: "what career? I don't care about a career."
t35 Kahn: "I'll tell you, of significant importance [sic] is that we've really become a band. It's not like something that Jerry does in his spare time, or that I do in my spare time, or anything like that. It started out that way." JG, to John: "Gimme that drink." JK: "Oh, no." JG: "Go ahead." [pause all around] JK: "What was I saying? We're a *band*, that's really what's important to know." @0:32 JG: "But that's like a real thing. It's like a marriage, or something. Not only is it a band, but it's a band that has that ... it has thing of of, ummm, consonance. [That's] the best way I can describe it. In other words, we all think similarly musically." DJG: "The hippest folks out there will know what we man by concrescence .. but only the hippest, y'know." JG: "Probably only the hippest, that's right. All you lame people [crosstalk]." DJ: gives him choices. John Kahn wants to do the news, presumably to take another "break". Jerry says they'll go until Robbie freaks out. !1:35 DJ: "Where were we?" JG: "Where, indeed?" JK: We're into something new." JG: "We're into the music having a personality and a life of its own that is something which we all recognize we're a part of. It's like you imagine a music in your head, and you don't even imagine it perfectly, it's not even something ... it escapes your imagination ... it's provocative. And then you run into somebody and you see that what they're doing has some part of that vision. And you recognize it. Y'know what I mean? It's not like you invent it, you recognize it. 'Yeah, that, that, that's it, that's it!" JK: "Right. There's there's the possibility of that dream. And you go further." JG: "Yeah. And then you go further, you go further." [crosstalk: DJG: --that has the same dream."] JG: "That's right, that has the same --[crosstalk]. Dynamically, the interesting difference in this thing is that this band represents a kind of amazing agremement, where, by contrast, the Grateful Dead represents this amazing disagreement, in terms of, that everybody has tremendously different ideas about music, just a ... but that's interesting for other reasons. That's interesting for completely other reasons. This is ... this gets us all off in the same way. The Grateful Dead, when the Grateful Dead gets off, everybody gets off differently. But we all get off."
! t36 Kahn's idea about music: "I don't have any idea about music. What to me it means 'good' which is, it has an effect on people. That's what good means to me." JG: "Yeah, me too." JK: "And, other than that, I don't have any idea. We could play bluegrass music, or jazz, or--" [JG: "Yeah, style doesn't have anything to do with it."] --"it doesn't matter. It's all music. It's just music." JG: "And as long as it has an effect on you. When you hear music, you want it to move you. You want it to ... communicate." DJG: "And this band has expanded on that level." JG: "Yeah. We've been hittin' some ..."
! personnel: Buzz Buchanan: t37 Donna brings up Buzzy how John Kahn found Buzzy Buchanan. "He's allowed us to go into spaces in music that we've never gone to before. He's great." Discussion about how John found Buzzy through a Kmart thing, John says it was the 'Best Hits of the Chinese Fifth Dynasty Greatest Hits'. And the particular track I heard was "The Taoism and the Path, featuring Buzzy Buchanan, and because of that I decided that I thought he'd really work well with us. And, oddly enough, it turned out that he was still alive."
! t38 Kahn: wine bottles in Amenhotep's grave ... 1400 BC ... they are drinking ... DJG: "We found this bottle uncorked it and there was Buzzy." ... SNORT ... DJ: herbicides on dope in Mexico ... JG: "What about that clone story?"
! t39 DJ: "What kind of stuff have you been into, as far as--" JG: "Ideas? There's a fantastic book called The Invisible Landscape, that anybody that wants to have their brain turned inside out should read, that is by the McKenna Brothers, who are ... Terrence and Dennis McKenna, who are a pair of scientists ... and in the book they propose a theory ... a holographic theory of mind and the Universe. They talk about the mechanical and electromagnetic way that psychedelics affect the mind, and the DNA and RNA specifically ... [crosstalk] Then they talk about the I-Ching ..."
! t40 even Buzz says goodbye ... network news.
! t41 the news about a Ku Klux Klan rally